I've seen a number of younger friends, former volleyball "kids" and just random people on the Internets express some excitement over reaching various milestone ages. I'm surprised when I see it for some reason. Maybe because I've celebrated big birthdays, but not celebrated the act of reaching an age, if that makes sense. Heck, I basically glossed over 40 because it happened just before we moved. But there is something glorious about getting older.
Growing up is a somewhat painful process, full of carnage, but it sure is fun when you level up. I've said before that it feels like you encounter a lot of change every four years or so, and for me that's been like a new graduation every so often. I'm in the midst of one of those right now, I think, understanding myself better in terms of what I'm capable of professionally and as a parent and spouse. I think a lot of it comes down to leaps in confidence, all while understanding you've got blind spots.
More than anything though, maybe not every year, but as time goes on you feel like you've got something to show for it. It's easy to get caught up in all of the things that you don't know, or wish you knew, but give yourself a little credit. You're better prepared for today than you would have been a few years ago. With age comes experience, and it's OK to lean into that.
Yes, joints crack in weird ways and things hurt for unknown reasons as you get older, but the world is a whole lot less a mystery than it was. That's why getting older isn't all bad.